Beerbohm was educated at Charterhouse and Merton College, Oxford where he first revealed his talent as a caricaturist. His first public appearance in this field was in 1892 in The Strand Magazine. He also contributed to other periodicals such as The Yellow Book. His first book of caricatures, Caricatures of Twenty-five Gentleman, dedicated to Carlo Pellegrini ('Ape' of Vanity Fair) was published in 1896 and he went on to publish a further nine books including The Poet's Corner (1904), The Book of Caricatures (1907), Second Childhood of John Bull (1911), Fifty Caricatures (1913), A Survey (1921), Rossetti and his Circle (1922), Things Old and New (1923), Observations (1925) and Bitter Sweet (1931).
Unlike other portraitists Beerbohm never had a sitting, or even a client. He drew for a sheer delight in travesty and relied entirely on his visual memory. His caricatures of all the main political, literary and social figures of the time provide a unique commentary and insight into the first half of the twentieth century.